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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An acquired hypocalciuric hypercalcemia autoantibody induces allosteric transition among active human Ca-sensing receptor conformations.

The seven-spanning calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) activates multiple G proteins including Gq and Gi, and thereby activates a variety of second messengers and inhibits parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion. However, the exact signaling mechanisms underlying the functional activity of CaSR are not yet fully understood. The heterozygous inactivation of CaSR or its inhibition by antibody blocking results in either familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia or acquired hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (AHH), respectively. Here, we report the identification of a unique CaSR autoantibody in an AHH patient. Paradoxically, we find that this autoantibody potentiates the Ca(2+)/Gq-dependent accumulation of inositol phosphates by slightly shifting the dose dependence curve of the Ca(2+) mediated activation of phosphatidylinositol turnover to the left, whereas it inhibits the Ca(2+)/Gi-dependent phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in HEK293 cells stably expressing human CaSR. Treatment of these same cells with a calcimimetic, NPS-R-568, augments the CaSR response to Ca(2+), increasing phosphatidylinositol turnover and ERK1/2 phosphorylation, and overcoming the autoantibody effects. Our observations thus indicate that a calcium-stimulated CaSR primed by a specific autoantibody adopts a unique conformation that activates Gq but not Gi. Our findings also suggest that CaSR signaling may act via both Gq and Gi to inhibit PTH secretion. This is the first report of a disease-related autoantibody that functions as an allosteric modulator and maintains G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in a unique active conformation with its agonist. We thus speculate that physiological modulators may exist that enable an agonist to specifically activate only one signaling pathway via a GPCR that activates multiple signaling pathways.[1]


  1. An acquired hypocalciuric hypercalcemia autoantibody induces allosteric transition among active human Ca-sensing receptor conformations. Makita, N., Sato, J., Manaka, K., Shoji, Y., Oishi, A., Hashimoto, M., Fujita, T., Iiri, T. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2007) [Pubmed]
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